Families With Grace

Helping Christian moms create homes filled with grace, love & faith

God is good, even when life isn’t fair

A look at God’s goodness on difficult days

I first wrote this post about how God is good back in June of 2014 when my kiddos were toddler and preschool age. Remembering that God is good is always timely. Considering this post talks about them both being sick is even more timely for me right now since they are again both sick at the same time. Thankfully right now they are just dealing with head colds and don’t need nearly as much help at 9 and 12 as they did at 17 months and 4 years!

About two years ago my son came down with a virus. Considering the dude is 17 months old, I might be exaggerating. It was actually last Friday, but since my daughter has since come down with the same virus and it lasts about a week, time is passing a bit slowly for me right now.

The good news is that neither kid has been hit super hard with this virus, just enough to make them tired, a bit grumpy and clingy. It could be way worse. However, it’s also highly contagious. Somehow they shared their germs with my mom who hasn’t seen them in more than a week. Fortunately no one else has come down with it. We’re staying in and missing out on a good week of activities to keep our germs to ourselves. Maybe by this weekend we’ll be all clear of contagions. I can’t wait. Sick kids aren’t super fun, but being sick isn’t super fun, so I don’t blame them.

The exhausting everyday moments of parenthood

Last evening, though, my son was feeling better but still grumpy. He started getting back into things he hasn’t in weeks, like the dog’s water dish, over and over again. Then he was climbing on the table. He wanted to simultaneously be in my lap and on the floor. My daughter wanted to play. Her ideas were having me mimic her dance moves. I was tired. It had been a long day. It was the kind of day that lasted longer than my patience. I debated about loading everyone in the car in their pajamas just to go for a ride. I didn’t care where, I just needed to be out of the house and not have someone hanging off of me.

It was also raining. My husband had recently repaired a gutter and went outside to check on it. Lucky duck, I thought. At least he got to get out of the house. (My son might not have been the only grumpy one!) He came back in and said he had something neat to show our daughter. She slipped on shoes with her nightgown. I scooped up the baby and we went out, too. It was raining, but we have a covered patio. The “neat thing” my husband had to show off was an intricate spider web. My son couldn’t care less, I didn’t care much and my daughter thought it was pretty cool. However, we were out of the house! We sat on the patio, listening to the rain on the metal roof for a little while. It was the change of scenery that I think we all needed.

Finding joy in the simple things

Sometimes it’s the simple parts in life that make it so good. I wouldn’t say that this has been an overall great week. It hasn’t be horrible and could definitely have been worse, but it also could certainly have been better. My daughter is missing out on her first experience with Vacation Bible School thanks to being sick. She has literally been counting down the days for a month and was looking forward to having me be with her leading around the preschoolers. I was looking forward to her having fun and learning more about God. She is so very interested in God and Bible stories right now. She has a love for Him that makes my heart burst. I don’t want to quash that. I want to encourage and nurture that. And I thought VBS would be one way to do that.

However, God had different ideas. I’d be lying if I said I understood completely or knew what He was thinking. I don’t. In fact, I’ve cried about it this week a couple of times. I’ve prayed about it. As soon as my son got sick, I prayed that somehow my daughter and I wouldn’t so we could still go. I firmly believe God heard my prayer; He just said no. Sometimes “no” is a hard answer to hear. I think I’m more disappointed than my daughter is. But, I do know that always God has a plan. God is good and always in control. I can trust Him even when hardships — whether small or big — don’t make sense.

I’ve learned that lesson time and again, even when I doubt. I’ve learned that in living with a chronic illness when I’ve not understood reasons for suffering. And I’ve learned that when proverbial doors not only closed on me but slammed shut in my face and smashed some fingers in the process. God doesn’t always make sense.

In my humanity, I sometimes get mad about it. Sometimes my feelings get hurt. Sometimes I get so frustrated that in trying to do the right thing and making choices God has led me to make that I still can get punched in the face with a hardship. It’s not always fair. But, God never said life would be fair and therein lies the rub. Therein lies the difficulty.

God is good

However, I have learned that even when life doesn’t make sense, God does make sense. I have told my daughter time and again that she doesn’t always need to understand why my husband and I ask her to do something, she just needs to do it because we said so. (Trust me, the girl wants us to explain everything all the time and sometimes she just needs to trust us.) Just like I’d never lead my children astray, just like I have valid reasons for disciplining them when they do something wrong, so God does the same for me. At the end of the long, hard day — even through my hurt, frustration and tears — all I have left (all I really had to begin with) is to trust God and lean fully on Him.

I can look back now other major hardships in my life and see how God worked them for my good. I can look back at other hard times and still not understand them, but I trust that just like I look out for my children, He is looking out for me. My toddler and preschooler can’t understand as much as I do at age 35. I can’t understand as much as God does as the maker of the universe and creator of everything in it. I just have to trust in One Who loves me more than I can fathom.

And so even in small hardships like having temporarily sick kiddos who are missing out on things they were looking forward to, I can trust. I can know that God really does work all things to the good of those who love Him even when little things (and big things!) don’t make sense.

While I wouldn’t mind a bit of a break in the craziness of life this week, I am working to be thankful in all circumstances at all times. Because God is good all the time. He is ever faithful.

When I fail God, He remains faithful

Even though I fail God, He doesn’t fail me! (Plus 10 Bible verses for when we fail God)

A couple of weeks ago, my son had a difficult spelling list. As soon as I saw the list of words on Monday as we worked on assignments, I knew it was going to be rough. My 8-year-old has some additional challenges that make spelling a very difficult subject for him, to say the least.

We worked on those words all week. One day, we sang them. Another day, he wrote them. We played assigned games with them. As we worked on other spelling assignments, we repeated the spelling out loud. I saw my son trying. He did his very best as he took the test. But then his face fell when his grade wasn’t what he wanted it to be.

As a mom, my heart breaks when things like this happens. We moms don’t like for our kids to have struggles and heartache. It hurts us deeply.

I spoke with my son and reminded him that no matter the score on his spelling test that day, I was proud of him. I knew how hard he’d worked. I saw him do his best and that’s all I can ever as of him. His best was enough.

When I fail God

Later, as I was thinking about the day, I thought about all the times God has seen me struggle. I’ve worked on life lessons and done my best and still come up short. I put my faith into practice and then stumble right over it, yet again. In my head, I think of God as a stern Father, unpleased with me.

But, I realized He is like I was with my son. I am His beloved child. He wants what is best for me. My Father wants me to try and to work. He wants me to trust Him when I can’t handle things. However, when I fall short and fail, He doesn’t get upset. His heart aches because He sees my potential. Maybe He has a slight smile because He knows what I’m going to learn from that failure. He doesn’t want to heap on more chastisement. God loves me and supports me every single step of the way.

I’d never have been stern with my son about something I knew he had worked hard on and done his best. How much more is God the same way with us if only we trust Him and relax in the knowledge of what His is doing! He will hold us and comfort us when we fall short. I am so thankful for that.

Bible verses for when we fail

When I feel like I fail God, I not only have this picture in my mind of Him treating me like I do my children when they fail, I also have His Word to remind me that He is ever faithful and true. The following five verses remind us of Who God always is — even when we fail and fall short.

Psalm 73:26 (NIV)

This verse reminds me that I’m human and I’m going to fail, but God will give me His strength if I just trust in Him.

“My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.”

Proverbs 24:16 (NIV)

I love this verse, because it reminds me to keep going, even when I fail God. With Him I have the strength and ability to try and try again.

“For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,
    but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.”

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

This is my all-time favorite Bible verse. I love it for the promise God makes to strengthen and uphold us, even when we do fail. And I love it for the reminder that I don’t need to fear, because I struggle with that.

“So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

Just like I won’t ever give up on my children when they try and fail, never will God give up on us.

“…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 145:14 (NIV)

Even when I get so overwhelmed and off-track that I fall flat on my face, God is right there with me to put me back together.

“The Lord upholds all who fall
    and lifts up all who are bowed down.” — Psalm 145:14 (NIV)

Bible verses to remind us of God’s faithfulness

Going right along with being able to trust that God won’t leave us when we fail, we must also remember God’s faithfulness. Even when I fail God, He remains steadfast and true.

Psalm 119:90 (NIV)

While I am so thankful for God’s faithfulness to me, I am even more so for His faithfulness to my children. And this verse reminds us that God is faithful through ALL generations.

“Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
You established the earth, and it endures.”

Hebrews 10:23 (NIV)

This verse reminds me that I can hold onto hope no matter the situation because God is always faithful. He is even faithful when He says “no” to what I ask, because not for one minute does He leave me!

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He Who promised is faithful.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

These words come from Moses as he was telling the Israelites that God was going to clear a path for them and bring them through to the Promised Land. While I’m not wandering in the desert facing armies, I am facing battles in my life and trust fully that God will be with me every step of the way until I read the heavenly Promised Land.

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

God is always faithful and nothing can come between us and His love!

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Lamentations 3:22-24 (NIV)

This verse I picked to end with, because I love the reminder that each day is a new day. God’s love never fails me, even when I fail Him. And even though I might have failed today, tomorrow is a new day when I get to try again!

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

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